Door Number Three

Date: April 7th, 2011

Time: 7:PM

Status: A Great Afternoon

Info:  Since my dad was born in 1933, he’d have been twelve years old when the Boston Red Sox started their 1945 season without a win in their first six games.  Fast forward sixty-six years and we; Red Sox Nation (RSN) find ourselves in the same boat.  You might be curious how the SOX wound up that year – in those days there were only sixteen teams in all of baseball – 8 teams in each division.  The SOX finished in 7th place in the American League.  The good news is New York did not win the American League pennant, but really … that’s about the only good news in 1945 and again in the present.  The SOX open Fenway Park tomorrow against the crew from the Bronx and like my buddy from the Vineyard told me today … “they are really in need for some good home cookin'” – ain’t that the truth.

Speaking of the truth … Bonnie’s day was a full one – from start to finish.  Her day started with numerous phone calls from friends, family and coworkers.  Her coworkers took her out to lunch at The New Yorker (there’s those two words again).  I may have mentioned this place in either this blog or the one about LuLu, and if you’re ever in town with a hankering for a meatball sub, or a great slice – this is the place, particularly during lunch or late night.  Many of the staff she works with was present today so the good news is she had a good lunch – the tough news is – she had to get out of bed interrupting her precious sleep cycle prior to the meeting with her new Oncologist; Dr. Anderson.

She was able to take care of a couple of errands during her time out – and the smarty that she is – she even thought about bringing a small pillow to place under her free arm to rest while driving.  That’s thinking! The visit with her new Oncologist (should that be capitalized?) went P-E-R-F-E-C-T.  Without ALL the details – suffice it to say he wants Bonnie to recover from her day surgery, take a few weeks off and then come back to him when she’s comfortable.  The difference already is he’s not putting her into his schedule, he’s allowing her to create her own schedule and plug it into his.  A complete contrast from the former. Nice.

He wants to conduct a Oncotype DX test on the large tumor removed during her surgery.  In summary, this type of test is diagnostic and assesses the tumor tissue to estimate the likelihood the invasive breast cancer will return, OR recur after treatment.  Through an analysis the expression pattern of certain genes in breast tumors, the test can more precisely estimate if Bonnie’s risk of cancer recurrence when compared with the standard assessments doctors normally use to evaluate the risk of cancer returning.

The test yields a Recurrence Score – this is then categorized into one of three groups; low, intermediate, or high risk.  Bonnie’s current numbers show low numbers – so the new Oncologist believes this test will return a low number (fingers crossed AGAIN).  The test scores the breast tumor on 21 different genes involved in breast cancer and gives the Recurrence Score, or a number between zero and 100 that shows the chance of the breast cancer returning within 10 years of the original diagnosis (2021).

Confused? No issues – basically what this test will reveal is what types of treatment are beneficial to treat her cancer; Chemotherapy [DOOR #1], or Hormone Therapy; Tamoxifen [DOOR #2] … or nothing at all [DOOR #3].

Our next step is this:

Bonnie’s day surgery for her lymph node-dissection is Wednesday; 4/13. Should the pathology report from this test detect other cancerous lymph nodes – all bets are off and it’s a steady diet of Chemotherapy but we’ll have learned a lot more information about her type of cancer by then and more importantly we’ll KNOW the Chemotherapy is actually warranted, and not just … well nevermind.

What Bonnie REALLY liked about her visit today is this doctor is a researcher.  The term “generic” is not part of his vocabulary.  He wants to know everything about what Bonnie and his other patients are dealing with rather than the “take two aspirin and call me in the morning treatment.”

So to wrap up – we’re on standby to find out what door we’re going to be walking through.  Three is my favorite number so I’m going to ask you all to pray for Door #3.  Okay?

The Red Sox are another matter and tomorrow the first pitch is thrown at 2:05 EST.  I know one of the readers of this blog will be at the game in her new seat as a season ticket holder … that means the game will be on at 11:05 PST … I have no students tomorrow afternoon.  Coincidence?

Margie arrives Saturday afternoon! Our UCONNection and Bonnie’s maid of honor way back when we married along the Charles River … I can hear a few of you laughing about the time you had at our wedding from here.  It really was a great wedding!

Keep her close you guys.




2 thoughts on “Door Number Three

  1. Bonnie, as Margie brings you on Wednesday for the lymph node procedure, please be sure to pack a small brown lunch bag….something for Marg to use for her hyperventilation! LOL
    Only joking! She will be just fine. I am sure the hospital staff will be perplexed as to why all the giggling!
    Praying for Door #3!!!!
    Good luck!

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